Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
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Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Ali Mohammad Magrey, J., in a significant judgment dismissed the petition filed by former Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti for seeking directions for issuance of a passport in her favour.

The precise case of the petitioner was that she had submitted an application for issuance of a passport in her favour before the Passport Officer, Regional Passport Office. As per circular instructions issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on this behalf, the passport of an individual is required to be issued within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, but despite lapse of more than three months, no passport was issued in favour of the petitioner. The petitioner, upon enquiry came to know the status of her application for passport as under: “Pending for physical police verification at respective Thana under SP Office, District Srinagar.” Thereafter, the petitioner approached Senior Superintendent of Police with the request to forward the Police Verification Report (PVR) to the Regional Passport Office, but nothing fruitful had been done in her favour.

The Assistant Solicitor General of India, Tahir Majid Shamsi submitted that the Passport Officer had already sought information from the Additional Director General of Police (CID) in the instant matter. Besides, Counsel for respondents 2, 3 and 5 was directed to expedite the PVR in relation to the case of the petitioner. Subsequently, the PVR was forwarded by the ADG of Police, CID,  to the Regional Passport Officer.  The Passport Officer’s report revealed that:

“Whereas the PVR received from Addl. Director General of Police, J&K-CID do not favour issuance of passport and returned as “NOT RECOMMENDED PASSPORT CASE”. In view of the J&K CID report, your case was found to attract refusal under provisions of section 6(2)(c) of the Passport Act, 1967. In light of the above, your application for issuance of passport is Refused.”

 The respondent argued that the petitioner had the alternate remedy of appeal to Joint Secretary (PSP) and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, against the refusal order within (30) days from the date of receipt of the order under Section 11 of the Passports Act, 1967. It was also pleaded that the petitioner had no absolute right to demand a passport in her favour inasmuch as the passport, being a document that vouches for the respectability of the holder, stands to reason that the Government need not vouch for a person it did not consider worthy.

Considering that the PVR received by the Passport Officer, did not recommend grant of passport in favour of the petitioner, the Bench opined that no direction could be issued by the Court for issuance of passport as the scope of Court in the matter of grant or otherwise of passport is very limited inasmuch as the Court, in this behalf, could only direct the concerned authorities to expeditiously consider the case of an individual in the light of the mandate of the scheme of law governing the subject.

Noticing that the respondents had already undertaken the said exercise in tune with the mandate of the scheme of law by, firstly, seeking report from the Police/ CID authorities, and, thereafter, passing the order in tune with such recommendations of the police/ CID authorities. Relying on the decision of Supreme Court in Satwant Singh Sawhney v. Assistant Passport Officer, AIR 1967 SC 1836, the Bench said,  the petitioner had no absolute right to demand a passport in her favour.

 Hence, the petition was dismissed.[Mehbooba Mufti v. Union of India, WP(C) No.382/2021, decided on 29-03-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Sr. Adv. Jahangir Iqbal Ganai with Adv. Humaira Shafi,

For the Respondents: ASGI Tahir Majid Shamsi and Sr. AAG B. A. Dar

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Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and MR Shah, JJ has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration seeking its response on a plea filed by Iltija, daughter of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, challenging her mother’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. The bench also asked Iltija to file an affidavit that no similar case is pending before any other court and posted the matter for hearing to March 18.

During the hearing, senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishna appearing for Iltija assured the court that no petition is pending before any court. The court also asked the counsel about the situation in the Kashmir.

“What’s the position now? Schools have started? It came in the newspaper,”

At the outset, the bench even suggested the counsel to approach Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Senior counsel responded that High Court had taken a view that it can’t go into
the administrative issues, to which the bench replied that it’s not an administrative issue. “Cheap politics among masses,” counsel argued while reading out reasons for Mufti’s detention. The counsel also said that they (administration) have not referred to a single instance against former Chief Minister of inciting people.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had, on February 5, invoked PSA against the former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year. Earlier, the bench had also sought response from Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.

(Source: ANI)

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Supreme Court: A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration on the plea of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has to file a reply by March 2. Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar on Wednesday had recused from hearing the plea.

The Court inquired whether any similar plea filed by any person is pending before the High Court. On this, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who is appearing for Omar’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot, said “no”.

In her plea, Sara Abdullah Pilot, Omar’s sister and wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, said the order of detention is manifestly illegal and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”. She also said that exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly mala fide” to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is “silenced”.

The plea has sought quashing of the February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah under the PSA and also sought his production before the court.

“The intent of exercise of power was to incarcerate not just him but the entire leadership of the National Conference, as well as the leadership of other political parties, who were similarly dealt with including Farooq Abdullah, who has served the State and the Union over several years… stood by India whenever the situation so demanded,”

The plea added that the grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 had invoked the stringent PSA against former Chief Minister Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar on Wednesday has recused from hearing the plea of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister, challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. A three-judge Bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was scheduled to hear the case today after the matter was mentioned before the Court on Monday.

Another Bench has agreed to hear the case tomorrow. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sara, mentioned that he will not be available for the hearing on Thursday. Thus, the top court scheduled the matter for hearing on Friday i.e. February 14, 2020.

In her plea, Sara Abdullah Pilot, Omar’s sister and wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, said the order of detention is manifestly illegal and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”. She also said that exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly mala fide” to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is “silenced”.

The plea has sought quashing of the February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah under the PSA and also sought his production before the court.

“The intent of exercise of power was to incarcerate not just him but the entire leadership of the National Conference, as well as the leadership of other political parties, who were similarly dealt with including Farooq Abdullah, who has served the State and the Union over several years… stood by India whenever the situation so demanded,”

The plea added that the grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 had invoked the stringent PSA against former Chief Minister Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, under the Public Safety Act (PSA). The plea was filed by Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot.

Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti were recently booked under PSA. Both the former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On the intervening night of 4 and 5 August 2019, Omar Abdullah was placed under preventive detention by the Indian Government. This came as a backdrop to the government’s decision of scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which gave the state of Jammu & Kashmir semi-autonomous powers. On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)